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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am working on a 40 gallon for a trio of breeding D. azureus. I am laying the tank on its side so I can make a front hinged door and have more height. The pictures say the rest. Let me know what you think.

This is the tank, I got the glass siliconed in and will worry about the door later.



There is a pesky drain hole in the back left corner which I have not decided if I am going to use or not and how. There will be a large faux tree there so...ideas?



This is the start of the pond area, just started stacking styro which will be shaped once I get the general look. what do you think? I gave up on this version at 2am. I cant decide to keep or not.



In the back left corner there will be a tree with roots spreading over the rocks and into the pond. my goal is to have them so dense that the frogs can utilize them instead of just having a big pond they cant use.





Let me know what you think.
 

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I think you're off to a great start. I like your idea for the dense roots in the water area. My only concern is that you must be careful about the spacing, so a frog can't get wedged in there, unable to escape, and drown. I think as long as you take your sweet time planning, it will work out beautifully. You could even use the roots to create seperate smaller pools, and let the frogs deposit tads in them. Keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well I want it to be a very uninterrupted view so I am either going to use 4 small clips and have the door removable in one piece, or I am going to put a living hinge or similar at the top so it doesnt run right through the tank. I have been playing with a few ideas havent settled yet. I havent seen anyone else turn the 40 on its side! make no sense as you get more height and a great about of floor space still, plus front doors.
 

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i'm picking up a 40 breeder tomorrow and plan on doing the same conversion. i had thought about doing it with a 20 tall (actually started a thread about the idea) but decided to wait until i had a bigger tank so things weren't so cramped inside.

i was toying with the idea of sliding doors, but i think it might be beyond my level of expertise. now i'm thinking the way to go might be to have a clear living hinge across the top of the substrate barrier glass and have one solid flip-down glass door.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
the sliding doors are not hard, just find the right track. you are right the hinge you described would be the easiest. for this viv I want to avoid having a big hinge running through the tank. it will be close to the substrate yes I just want a really clean display. thats why I was thinking the hinge at the top attached to the plastic frame. or just one big pull off panel. if you have never played with hinges the flip down is super easy and very strong. I was going to do the sliding doors but decided it wasnt going to be clean enough. good idea on waiting. a 40B is perfect size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So update!

I have been working slowly and have played with quite a few ideas which is why I havent been super quick with progress. But here are some pics of where I am at now. I have roughly sculpted the styro ready for the grout next week hopefully. I have made a filter because the pond will house galaxy raspora's and an ancistrus anddd maybe something else small. I found a sweet stump which I am going to use as a base trunk instead of making the whole thing out of apoxie. I will work on the roots soon and those will be foam, covered with apoxie, stamped with bark texture, and painted with acrylic paint. I will also give making some muschrooms out of the apoxie a go. I saw this add below at the movies and thought the mushrooms would be awesome. Might make a fantasy mushroom viv for some auratus or something next lol. Anyway pics! enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Fantasy shrooms


Now the tank

this is the foam shaped






The filter (this will be hidden by a thick black foam and seeded with moss so I can remove it easily for maintenance and it should still look good.



you can see where it is in reference to the foam rock wall


close up


egg crate in place and you can see where the hidden hatch will be


This is the log I will be using, I carved the back out to save some weight and it will sit higher than in the pic once the roots are in place


and the full tank shot with other root structure. these will be covered with vines and more roots soon. cant decide if I want to make a stream or not.....help me decide!


Thats it, will update soon and Happy Christmas! if its not before the big day
 

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Hi,
great project.
be sure and silicone the plastic frame. I did what you are doing on a 20 tall.
the plastic rim gave me a mystery leak.
I put a pump under the false bottom and pumped the water into the pond down low with small gravel in the pond. it stopped the water from becoming anaerobic under the false bottom and was very discreet:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Will try and post some more pics tonight. I had a mishap where the log fell over and smashed the bottom of the viv so I have changed the design around a bit. Will be ordering glass today to fix the top. after is smashed I decided to remove the rim, I had a nice clean set up before it broke but now it should be even cleaner. I have some pretty cool glow stuff going on too. update tonight or tomorrow!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok update! and I am being very undecided with this viv. I cemented the first version of the rocks and didnt even bother to start painting because I just am not happy with it. I took some pics and carved out a few rocks for another idea to see what it will look like. let me know your opinions.

here is the original version grouted but I just dont like it, not natural enough.




and here is the new idea, I put the wood in there just to get an idea.





ok so the question is, go with the bolder look but obviously make it more molded into the tank of stay with the original?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
alright I decided to make a whole bolder strewn bank and see what that looks like, started the GS, will carve tomorrow. here are the pics, and where I moved the filter and stream pump to.







This is where the filter and pump will be, same concept, it will be covered by thick black snug fitting aquarium foam which will have leaf litter over top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So this is what I have come up with, I may shape it down a little to make more water area available.

before carving







After carving









i need to sand this and do some detail carving but thats the overall idea, the stream will cascade over the cobbles. let me know what you think por favor!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Been a little while, busy with classes and what not. but I just was not feeling the last set up. I pulled it out and just started building on the fly. I will post some pics tonight, I have also worked on another viv and experimented with some glow stuff which worked out quite well. Im stoked to see how natural it all looks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Well here is the new version, Just was not digging the last one. The idea is to have a very natural water feature with plenty of land area for the trio. The stream will be sealed with epoxy and sand to look like rocks and the back will have a ventilation system covered with GS and a ton of root to look like the side of a river bank. i have been playing with glow stuff which should look really cool when done.



The start of the GS




I added a rock for the stream/river transition


got a bit heavy handed with the GS.


waterfall after carving


The stream idea-cascading through the tree roots






I smeared silicone over the egg crate to fill in the squares for the stream's test run




stream in action- it worked perfectly, I was able to carve the stream sides down to look more natural.


the top part of the stream with a little bubble pool


Video of the stream test
40 breeder :: DSCN3158.mp4 video by britreefer - Photobucket

and finally, I decided to carve a cave under the stream section as there was a bunch of GS that looked ugly. It is not very big so no lost frogs.


 

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That water feature is friggin SWEET. The video displays it well. I'm now wondering why I didn't make mine that way =\

1 question - do you have a way to access the pump to repair / replace it when it goes bad?
 
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